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The Secret Ingredients to Grow a Healthy Brand

  • Nicole Powell

4 Steps to Outshine the Competition

If you want your brand to stand out from the masses, you have to put in the work to differentiate yourself.


So often, brands focus solely on themselves and their messaging, but they are missing a crucial component. The competition! To stand out, you first need to assess the market and the current offering that are out there and then find the gaps that only you can fill.


Instead of thinking of the branding process as being about ME, ME, ME, it is actually about THEM, THEM, THEM. "Them" being your competitors and your customers.


We are walking you through our four-step process to analyzing and shopping the competition that will get you on your way to developing a unique and successful brand.


Step 1: Define your Ideal Customers

You can engage in countless marketing tactics and invest thousands in ads, but if you're targeting the wrong customers and attracting the wrong people, it's just money down the drain.


The goal of all your marketing efforts should be to find your target audience, sell effectively to that audience, and gain your customers' trust, so they become recurring clientele.


Describe your customers by thinning about their demographic information, personalities, values and beliefs, and spending habits. The more concrete you can get in this stage- the better you’ll be able to serve your customers in the long run.


Step 2: Keyword Research

Using the right keywords will help you get found online, so it’s important to do some research to find out what your customers are searching for.


In relation to your competitive analysis, keyword research will also help you find competitors who show up in similar searches.


Jot down all the keywords you found that correspond to your brand’s offering, along with the names of the other competitors offering similar services.


Step 3: Conduct Stakeholder Interviews

As business owners, it can be hard to remove yourself from the business in order to gain clarity. That’s why it's important to seek out the perspectives of others as you are revamping or starting your business.


To aid with this, we suggest interviewing friends, family past customers, and anyone familiar with the business to see how they perceive it. Find out what they think your brand stands for, what they love about your business, and how you compare to the competition.






Step 4: Analyze the Competition

Using the competitors you found in step 2, visit the digital and potentially in-person storefronts of each to assess their presence.


Look for the social media platforms they are active on, their website functionality and style, and overall personality. What seems to be working for them? What do they do that you don’t like? How is your customer experience different?


All of this will help solidify how you stand out from the competition and give you ideas of messaging and strategies you can use to differentiate yourself.


Want more help conducting a competitive analysis? Download our free workbook that walks your through each of these steps and provides prompts and checklists along the way. PLUS, find out what to do next to put the competitive analysis into action!


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Brand Photography: Abbie Takes Pictures + Videography: McElroy Commercial Photography